Fish almost 3 months in quarantine - can’t figure this out.

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I spot fed him lots today, he ate well however this definitely is NOT sustainable for much longer with his condition. He is showing extreme stress coloration. I’ll get a video.

Tomorrow will be 7 days at 13 salinity or under and almost 2 weeks under 16 salinity. So tomorrow I will raise it a bit more and see if he can start swimming again. Maybe he will improve at 15 or 16 and I can keep it there a couple more weeks.
 
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Spot feeding the midas blenny today. You can see his stress coloration and almost totally immobility. Luckily he is still eating but can only move a few inches.

 

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Spot feeding the midas blenny today. You can see his stress coloration and almost totally immobility. Luckily he is still eating but can only move a few inches.



There may be something else going on here, but I can't guess as to what that might be. You can go to 16 ppt and still be within the treatment range for flukes. I like to keep fish at 12 ppt for 30 days, but a fluke expert I know says that 16 ppt for 18 days will work for Neobenedenia. I go longer because the timing for other fluke species is not known.

Jay
 

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Long 3 months, I’ll keep it concise.

Currently in quarantine I have 1 clownfish and 1 Midas blenny.

Their symptoms include flashing, yawning, and head shakes.

Short version: 19 days of full copper,
followed by 7 prazipro treatments,
followed by Fenbendazole soaked food.

Symptoms got better after prazipro treatments, but would come back after 4 or 5 days.

I then began Hyposalinity per Jays recommendation. The fish have now been in Hyposalinity for 5 days. They are at 14.4 salinity, this is verified by refracto meter and apex salinity probe. I am running an auto top off and the salinity is steady.

The fish generally look healthy. They are active, fins are erect and clear, eyes are clear, breathing is normal. Behavior is great, they come to the top of the tank for food, eat well, etc.

The ONLY symptoms are an occasional flash, headshake, or yawn. If I watch the tank for 10 straight minutes, I average seeing no symptoms from the Midas blenny and 1 “lazy” flash from the clown. If I watch the tank for an hour straight I might see 1 flash from the Midas blenny. The symptoms have gotten better since going to Hyposalinity.

I still believe I’m dealing with flukes. They have never shown a single spot that appeared to be ich or velvet to me. After 3 months in quarantine and undergoing a tremendous amount of stress from the Fenbendazole, the fish never broke out in ich or velvet.

I would appreciate any helpful advice from anyone that has dealt with something similar before. I believe I may have read every post Jay or humblefish have ever written about flukes and I still can’t beat them.
Your copper protocol was not complete. I believe the prazipro issue has been addressed. I would complete a copper protocol - then a proper prazipro protocol (would not do together unless an emergency). Fembendazole - I believe you decided to do this yourself - can be toxic. Really not understanding what you're saying. You have not followed protocols appropriately (no offense)
 
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Update time…

The good news is that the Midas blenny is back to himself. After a really rough few days I raised the salinity to 14.5 and he started swimming again. I have since dropped it back to 13.7, where it sits today. He is swimming and eating normally.

The bad news is that he is back to flashing a few times a day. I also saw the clownfish flash once yesterday. Still no visible symptoms. (And I have been looking CLOSELY, hoping this is ich and I misdiagnosed)

Today is 21 days below 15ppm. So I would like help making the next decision…

1. Let it keep going with the Hyposalinity, and it either works or it doesn’t. At this point I don’t feel it’s working, at least not at the salinity the Midas blenny can handle.

2. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Do the Fenbendazole dips.

3. Hope that I misdiagnosed this, and they are flashing / head shaking for a different unknown reason and introduce them to the display.

My gut is telling me I’m not misdiagnosing and it’s still gill flukes. My patience is wearing thin…I’m beginning to think I’ll never fix this.
 

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Update time…

The good news is that the Midas blenny is back to himself. After a really rough few days I raised the salinity to 14.5 and he started swimming again. I have since dropped it back to 13.7, where it sits today. He is swimming and eating normally.

The bad news is that he is back to flashing a few times a day. I also saw the clownfish flash once yesterday. Still no visible symptoms. (And I have been looking CLOSELY, hoping this is ich and I misdiagnosed)

Today is 21 days below 15ppm. So I would like help making the next decision…

1. Let it keep going with the Hyposalinity, and it either works or it doesn’t. At this point I don’t feel it’s working, at least not at the salinity the Midas blenny can handle.

2. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Do the Fenbendazole dips.

3. Hope that I misdiagnosed this, and they are flashing / head shaking for a different unknown reason and introduce them to the display.

My gut is telling me I’m not misdiagnosing and it’s still gill flukes. My patience is wearing thin…I’m beginning to think I’ll never fix this.
Fish will flash and scratch for reasons other than flukes - detritus in the water for example.

I avoid using fenbendazole as a dip, too many issues with toxicity.

As I think I mentioned, I prefer 30 days at 12 ppt.

Jay
 
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Update....today is day 35 in Hypo under 15ppt. Its also the 10th consecutive day at 12ppt.

I haven't seen the clownfish scratch in over a week, so thats a good thing.

The midas blenny continues to scratch maybe 1-2 times a day. It is almost exclusively while feeding or immediately after feeding. If I watch him for 10 minutes straight before feeding, I won't see him scratch. Once I drop food in and he eats, he usually scratches while eating. He eats off the surface a lot and maybe it has something to do with getting air in his mouth?

I'm really very frustrated at this point. I'm feeling its possible I misdiagnosed the flukes, but what else could it be?

-Ich? Never seen a single white spot in 3 months.
-Velvet? Again no visible symptoms. Not hiding from the light, not swimming in the flow, etc.
-Uronema? Is it possible a tiny bit could be living in the gills?
-Brook? I would think the clownfish would be symptomatic and the blenny would be fine if this were the case.
-Bacterial? Maybe I have some type of bacterial issue going on in the gills?
 

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Update....today is day 35 in Hypo under 15ppt. Its also the 10th consecutive day at 12ppt.

I haven't seen the clownfish scratch in over a week, so thats a good thing.

The midas blenny continues to scratch maybe 1-2 times a day. It is almost exclusively while feeding or immediately after feeding. If I watch him for 10 minutes straight before feeding, I won't see him scratch. Once I drop food in and he eats, he usually scratches while eating. He eats off the surface a lot and maybe it has something to do with getting air in his mouth?

I'm really very frustrated at this point. I'm feeling its possible I misdiagnosed the flukes, but what else could it be?

-Ich? Never seen a single white spot in 3 months.
-Velvet? Again no visible symptoms. Not hiding from the light, not swimming in the flow, etc.
-Uronema? Is it possible a tiny bit could be living in the gills?
-Brook? I would think the clownfish would be symptomatic and the blenny would be fine if this were the case.
-Bacterial? Maybe I have some type of bacterial issue going on in the gills?

As I mentioned, fish will occasionally flash for reasons other than parasites, and your observation that it is most often seen after feeding aligns with that.

You may have had a fluke issue that has now been resolved by the hypo. I don't see any indication that there is some other issue going on, but hypo can actually make velvet and uronema worse.

Your next step is to decide if the hypo has been sufficient, or if you want to go for a full 30 days at 12 ppt. Either way, just remember that returning fish from hypo must be done slowly, I generally take 4 to 5 days of gradually rising to go from full hypo to full seawater strength.
 
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Update for future help to someone that has a similar issue, and data points for anyone that may watch this kind of stuff.

Since my last update I ran them through 2 rounds of fenbendazole. The first was at 60% strength and the second was at 100%. The fish handled it fine and were eating the next day.

My aquabiomics results just came back clean, no parasites detected. The fish have also been totally asymptomatic and looking great.

Im still not sure what was causing the scratching, although I have a couple theories:

-I think it was flukes at some point, but maybe I beat those and there was just residual itching.
- My other thought was that because Midas blennies are scaleless, that might make them more sensitive to things in the water touching them, detritus, etc.
-I ran metroplex for a couple weeks which could have eliminated some unknown issue.
-the only other thing I noticed is that eventually I put a large sponge media in the AIO filtration. This cut down on the floating particles noticeably. So maybe that helped too.

Anyway, I’m I’ve learned a ton and feel fortunate to have all your help along the way! I appreciate everyone that wrote in with advice!
 

MnFish1

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Update for future help to someone that has a similar issue, and data points for anyone that may watch this kind of stuff.

Since my last update I ran them through 2 rounds of fenbendazole. The first was at 60% strength and the second was at 100%. The fish handled it fine and were eating the next day.

My aquabiomics results just came back clean, no parasites detected. The fish have also been totally asymptomatic and looking great.

Im still not sure what was causing the scratching, although I have a couple theories:

-I think it was flukes at some point, but maybe I beat those and there was just residual itching.
- My other thought was that because Midas blennies are scaleless, that might make them more sensitive to things in the water touching them, detritus, etc.
-I ran metroplex for a couple weeks which could have eliminated some unknown issue.
-the only other thing I noticed is that eventually I put a large sponge media in the AIO filtration. This cut down on the floating particles noticeably. So maybe that helped too.

Anyway, I’m I’ve learned a ton and feel fortunate to have all your help along the way! I appreciate everyone that wrote in with advice!
Always good to get an update!
 

MnFish1

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Update for future help to someone that has a similar issue, and data points for anyone that may watch this kind of stuff.

Since my last update I ran them through 2 rounds of fenbendazole. The first was at 60% strength and the second was at 100%. The fish handled it fine and were eating the next day.

My aquabiomics results just came back clean, no parasites detected. The fish have also been totally asymptomatic and looking great.

Im still not sure what was causing the scratching, although I have a couple theories:

-I think it was flukes at some point, but maybe I beat those and there was just residual itching.
- My other thought was that because Midas blennies are scaleless, that might make them more sensitive to things in the water touching them, detritus, etc.
-I ran metroplex for a couple weeks which could have eliminated some unknown issue.
-the only other thing I noticed is that eventually I put a large sponge media in the AIO filtration. This cut down on the floating particles noticeably. So maybe that helped too.

Anyway, I’m I’ve learned a ton and feel fortunate to have all your help along the way! I appreciate everyone that wrote in with advice!
What would be very interesting would be if you had done an aquabiomics before and after. And second - I don't think a clear aquabiomics test implies no parasites. However - awesome that things are on the right track
 

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